As human beings, we are wired for connection. Our survival as a species has often depended upon being part of a community for safety and protection. When we are unable to connect with others, as most of us have experienced over the past year or so during the pandemic, we can be left feeling anxious and distressed. For others, being alone can feel more comfortable and restorative to our mental and physical well-being. It’s important that we are able to recognize how and why we need connection and the ways that we can manage this.
Connection To Others
When we think about connecting to others, we might think about the groupings in our lives – family, friends, colleagues, faith or other special interest communities. Connecting to others is a very important part of our need for socialization and belonging. We tend to gravitate towards those who share similar interests as a way of seeking validation for our values and beliefs. This can be both positive or negative depending upon the situation, but it’s worth noting the groups that we spend time connecting. Have you ever noticed that you feel more drained after spending time with particular individuals or groups of people? Or perhaps you have relationships or social groups that make you feel better about yourself? As our nervous system evaluates the elements of safety and connection around us, you will notice this response in your body if you are paying attention.
Connection To Ourselves
Speaking of bodies, how often do you really stop and notice what is going on in and around the physical space you inhibit? Another important source of connection is the ability to feel a sense of ourselves and relationship to our physical bodies. If you have experienced trauma, neglect or rejection, you might have learned to tune out to the response of your mental and physical body in your surroundings. Learning how to notice when your body is speaking to you, whether through pain, physical sensations or emotions, is another important part of our ability to feel safety and connection within our personal space.
Connection To Nature & Spirit
Since the beginning of recorded time, people have pondered the questions of “Why do I exist?” or “What is my place in the universe?”. Where do you feel most connected to a power or energy outside of yourself? Most of us will answer this question very differently dependent upon our values and beliefs. Being able to feel connected to the earth, the world or the universe allows us to experience a sense of belonging, even when we are by ourselves. This type of connection can offer experiences of calm and safety and can be accessed without the need for others to be present.
Seek Opportunities To Connect
Our individual healing and well-being is dependent upon finding connection in all three of these areas. While living in a pandemic has challenged our ability to connect with others, it has increased the importance of why it’s essential that we also learn how to connect within ourselves and with nature or the universe. How do you tend to your relationships across these three areas of your life? Visit our services and events pages to learn more about opportunities we offer to help you connect to others at https://risingtidesnb.com/services.